Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I had cataract surgery in 1944 and no intraocular lens was put in my eye. I am 75 now and wondered whether I can have a lens put in now.

Answer:
It would be important to know if prior cataract surgery was performed in one or both eyes as well as what you use to see optimally—eyeglasses or contact lenses. Regardless, if you are doing well, any sort of "fix" (except updating the power of the lenses) could be considered unwise.

Still, the answer to your question is "yes." So-called "secondary lens implants" are still performed occasionally and with success, but the outcomes with modern implants have resulted in most patients having implantation at the time of cataract removal. Surgery to place secondary lenses has complications that are unusual but far from rare. The odds of many of these problems can be evaluated through a comprehensive examination by your ophthalmologist. A thorough exam followed by a discussion of the risks and benefits of the procedure is always in order, particularly in situations such as yours.

Answered by: Charles P. Wilkinson, MD  Dr. Charles P. Wilkinson

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery, Vision Correction

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Answered: Feb 07, 2014

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